Small Business Tips

15 Signs it’s Time for a Branding Makeover

by Zack Barton
Shasta-Cascade SBDC Business Advisor and Founder, Barton Interactive

Your logo is often the silent ambassador of your brand and can be someone’s first impression of your company. What is that impression? Does your logo clearly communicate what your company does? Will it cause people to remember you?

It’s important to put your best foot forward with your logo. To help you assess where you’re at, check out our list of 15 signs it’s time for a branding makeover:

Is it aesthetically pleasing?

Beautiful logos are hard to quantify, but easy to gauge with a simple survey among friends and coworkers. Do you like looking at your logo? How does it make you feel? Do your peers like it? Is it as good or better than your competition?

Is is clever or unique?

A unique logo shows that you’re a unique company. You may be one of a hundred bakeries selling cakes in your city, but nobody makes or sells cakes quite like you. How does your logo reflect what makes you stand out from your competitors?

Is is conceptually focused and clear?

Some logos focus on a brand’s name or the brand’s symbol. Either way, the logo should help to
communicate the “big idea” you want to broadcast about your company. Do you know if that idea
is coming through?

Is there an “aha” moment?

Logos with surprise imagery or hidden meanings
are memorable. FedEx has an arrow in the “Ex,”
symbolizing fast delivery. Amazon has an arrow
from “A to Z” to symbolize selling everything.
What can people discover in your logo?

Does it scale in size well?

A simple concept, but one that some forget. Does your logo work on all size mediums, from pens to billboards? Is it too tall, wide, or hard to
read? Some develop an alternate logo for these

Does it work in one color?
How about in no color?

Full-color printing isn’t always available or cost effective. Is your logo still recognizable when in black and white, such as a newspaper ad, return-shipping label, or even a clothing label?

Can it be used on the web?

This is another simple one. Does your logo look good on various web and mobile applications? Will it be recognizable in the circle or square icon of a social media site or in the fav icon at the top of a browser window?

Can it stand the test of time?

If your logo is brand new, it’s strongly encouraged to live with it for a month or two to make sure it doesn’t start to feel boring or weak. Does the logo still look good to you and work well a month or so from now? How about two months?

Does it have an appropriate use of typography?

Everything about the typography in your logo (from typefaces and font weights, to kerning and even
capitalization) should help communicate your brand’s unique style and message. Does the choice of
typography used in your logo really represent your brand accurately?

Does it avoid design trends?

If your new logo copies current design trends, it will disappear amongst competition and look dated in no time. For example, using an X in the middle of the logo is on its way out, if not long gone. Is your logo fresh and original?

Can your logo be animated?

Motion graphics are a strong bonus to have available for your marketing. It requires more time, effort and cost, but video can add so much to your brand. Used in TV or YouTube, animating your logo can help to tell your brand story.

Does your logo have an appropriate use of color?

Colors have a language of their own, and can be used to evoke a wide variety of different emotional responses. Have you researched the color psychology behind the colors you’re committing to? Do they align with your brand? Example: The color orange is often viewed as being warm, fun, friendly, and creative among other things.

Does your audience find your logo easy to read?

Your logo should be easy to read, both close up and far away. Many logos look great, but aren’t legible from a distance. Can people easily read your logo when it is small, large, near, and far? How legible is it on a billboard? Does it work on a small object, such as a ballpoint pen?

Does it pass a 5-second test?

The message your logo conveys should be quickly recognizable. If someone looked at your logo for five seconds, what would they remember? Characteristics, such as tone and message, should come across. Is your logo culturally relevant?

Is your logo a good fit for your target audience?

If your company’s logo uses a color scheme meant for children and your target audience is made up of
senior citizens, that may not be a good match for your brand. Are you using what you think looks good
or are you considering what your primary target audience wants to see?

Your branding is a cornerstone of your business, and investing in updates that communicate your message is wise. There is a lot to learn, but we’re here to help.

Contact us to meet, confidentially, with a business expert at no cost to you.